On Sunday evening I had the opportunity to lead our Jr and Sr high youth group. I did something a little unconventional and had most of the evening be one big object lesson.
First, I explained that the Bible calls us to submit to God. Most people want freedom and the opportunity to do anything they want. Christians choose to follow God’s words for our life that we find in the Bible.
Second, I had them break into four groups.
-Group #1 had a cookie recipe and a leader who knew how to make cookies.
-Group #2 had no recipe and a leader who did not know how to make cookies.
-Group #3 had no recipe and no leader.
-Group #4 had a recipe and no leader to help them.
The ingredients and supplies they needed were all set at the front of the room, and they had to come up with a plan to make cookies. Then at the end of the evening, they would have to eat the cookies that their group made.
As you might imagine I was trying to prove a point; all of us are living our lives in one of these four ways.
-Some of us are trying to follow God’s word, and we have people to help us.
-Some of us are just following people older than us, even if they have no idea what they are doing.
-Some of us have no one pointing us the right way and no connection to God’s word.
-Some people have God’s word and yet have no one to lead them.
What was fascinating to me was how each group did on the project. I had several guesses as to how it would go, and I was surprised at what actually happened.
The first group did well. Having a knowledgeable leader and a recipe makes for good cookies.
The group with a recipe and no leader did well also. Their cookies were also good.
The group with no leader and no recipe was the most interesting. Several of the boys wanted to add a lot of sugar and handfuls of chocolate chips. One older girl who knew how to make cookies took over. She quickly became the leader simply because she appeared to have more knowledge. The younger boys in the group submitted to her leadership, and the cookies turned out okay.
The final group had a leader who didn’t have any knowledge of making cookies, but the leader was shown the recipe briefly before starting. This group seemed to have the most fun. They laughed and worked together. My favorite line from their group was, “Who needs a hand mixer when we have hands to mix with.” They had a good time, and yet their cookies were awful. In the end, they made two trays of goodies, and one whole tray went into the trash.
After all was done, I took a few minutes to explain to them the overall lesson. God gives us his word with all its guidelines and rules so that we will make good cookies with our life. Believers have the freedom to do anything with our lives, but we chose to submit to God’s recipe found in his word. Submitting to the leadership and instructions of God is the key to making a great life.
Many people go through life, and they look like they are having fun. They smile and laugh and don’t seem to be sidetracked by anything. They throw in whatever they want, and it appears to work out for them. That is until it doesn’t. One day they wake up and the recipe they have spent a lifetime making is a disaster.
Every day we should ask ourselves, “Are we choosing the right ingredients to build a sweet and wonderful life?” The choices we make each day are building blocks of the future. As some of the kids will tell you, the right ingredients are essential.